The Day of Ascension is almost upon us – Codex: Genestealer Cults is up for pre-order this Saturday! To celebrate, we’ll be taking a look at some of the amazing new content in the codex over the course of the coming week – be sure to check back regularly for your daily dose of Genestealer Cults goodness.
This article was originally published on the Warhammer-community site.
But before we go any further, we’ve got some insights from the brains behind Codex: Genestealer Cults.
There are a number of advantages to being a hypnotically indoctrinated army of alien hybrids. Let’s take a look at their army-wide abilities.
The Genestealer Cults have always had some iconic and powerful Characters, and this upcoming release more than doubles the choices available to you. As of this weekend, you will have a huge choice of new characters to field, each providing useful bonuses and abilities to augment your army. Where this army has the edge over other factions that benefit from a large cast of supporting Characters (such as the Astra Militarum or Harlequins) is that the Genestealer Cults Characters are very difficult to eliminate while surrounded by their loyal kin.
Essentially, each time one of your Characters fails a saving throw or suffers a mortal wound, and is within 3″ of a friendly Genestealer Cults unit with the Unquestioning Loyalty ability, you can roll a dice. On a roll of 4+, a model from the nearby unit is slain but your Character remains unharmed! This is a huge advantage* for lightly armoured characters who may otherwise be prime targets for enemy sniper units. Should your precious Character suffer a few wounds despite this, it’s nothing that the Hyber-metabolism Stratagem can’t fix!
This ability is at the very heart of everything it means to field the Genestealer Cults in battle. It represents the culmination of all the cult’s cunning machinations and careful planning that has led them to this battlefield. Cult Ambush gives you all the tools you need to start every battle on the front foot** – if you can maintain the momentum, victory will surely be yours.
The ability takes two forms according to how you choose to set up your units, so let’s take a quick look at each.
Setting Up Underground: During deployment, you can set up Infantry and Bike units with the Cult Ambush ability underground. At the end of any of your Movement phases, some or all of these units can emerge anywhere on the battlefield that is more than 9″ from enemy models. The freedom you’ll have to suddenly strike your opponent’s forces in great force from any direction will cause mayhem with their battleplans.
Setting Up in Ambush: Were you wondering what those 28 ‘blip’ counters that come with the codex were for? They are, in fact, Cult Ambush markers designed to help you play horrible mind games with your opponent as you set up!
Instead of setting up a unit underground or on the battlefield, you can choose to place an ambush marker anywhere within your deployment zone. You can place a marker for each unit you choose to set up an ambush – even Transports and larger Vehicles such as a Cult Leman Russcan be set up in this manner! The crucial detail here is that you don’t need to assign which units are represented by each ambush marker – you can decide that later. There is also a sneaky Stratagem that enables you to place additional ambush markers to further confound your opponent.
If you have the first turn, you reveal all of your ambush markers at the start of your first Movement phase. If your opponent goes first, you instead reveal all of your ambush markers at the end of their first Movement phase, and they cannot move anywhere within 9″ of any ambush markers beforehand.
These markers are revealed one at a time – each time you do so, you select one unit from your army that you set up in ambush, then set up one model from that unit within 1″ of that ambush marker, followed by any other models in the unit. All units set up in this manner must be wholly within your deployment zone – that is, unless you further mess with your opponent by changing the nature of your ambush.
Through cunning use of Cult Ambush, you can effortlessly deny a flanking manoeuvre, pull back from a charge threat, or force mismatches on your opponent once they have committed their forces to battle. Alternatively, you can press your early advantage, assailing your opponent with coordinated attacks and savaging their forces from the outset with a large horde of Purestrain Genestealers thanks to this utterly devastating Stratagem.
It’s fair to say that the Genestealer Cults have the ability to play in a manner quite unlike any other Warhammer 40,000 faction. If you’re looking to pre-ordering your codex – or a Limited Edition or Special Edition of the book – you can do so from this Saturday!
* Somewhat less of an advantage for the unfortunate (in)human shield.
** Or claw, depending on hybrid generation.
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